Freelancing at home has been one of my greatest joys since I started freelancing over two decades ago.
When I wake up in the morning, I don’t have to go through the painful rituals of rushing out the door to a typical job. I can roll out of bed and walk to my office in my underwear and skip the soul sucking madness of driving through traffic. The few times I’ve had to get in the morning grind, it was depressing to see the angry faces of humans fighting their way to a job the probably despise.
Because I’ve freelanced for most of my adult life, I’ve been able to spend as much time as I wanted with my children and my wife, which I wouldn’t trade for any amount of money. Freelancing allows me to work around life and not miss out on the priceless opportunities that come my way. It’s been a tremendous blessing, but it’s not been easy.
Freelancing at home can be challenging!
As amazing as it is to work from a home office, there are a lot of challenges. It can be really difficult to stay focused when your kids are playing dodgeball in the next room! It’s a delicate balance to work around the daily distractions while getting your projects done on time. The good news is that if you practice the following seven pieces of advice, it will make your freelancing life better all around.
Seven Rules for Freelancing at Home
1. Set your schedule. The greatest benefit of freelancing form home is that you can work when you want, but this is also the biggest downfall. You will do yourself a favor by setting some regular work hours to ensure you meet your deadlines and goals. This doesn’t mean you can’t change your work hours as needed, but that you get into a rhythm of knowing when it’s time to be productive and when it’s time to play.
2. Create boundaries. It’s critical to set healthy boundaries from day one. You have to let family and friends know that you aren’t available when it’s time to work. Ask people to respect your space or to keep the noise levels down if you’re talking with clients. Be upfront and honest, as well as kind and respectful in your requests.
3. Take regular breaks. There’s no badge of honor for working all day without taking breaks. It is going to kill you. Research shows that you should take a 10 minute break for every hour that you work. You need to move around and take time away to stay healthy. I neglected this years and it’s really has taken it’s toll on me. Don’t make the same mistake.
4. Exercise daily. I cannot emphasize this enough … daily exercise changes your life! I weighed 225 pounds a few years ago because my eating habits sucked and I refused to work out because there was “too much” to do. I was constantly tired, irritable, stressed, and feeling unpleasant. Today I weigh 185 pounds and feel amazing. Not only have I shed fat and increased muscle size, I actually have way more energy and am more productive when I work.
5. Invest in your workspace. Freelancing in a dungeon absolutely sucks. You will benefit greatly by working in a space that is fun, inviting, properly lit, and ergonomically correct. Arrange your workspace for maximum effectiveness and decorate your office with energetic colors or inspirational items to keep you fresh. Clear the clutter and experience more happiness in your day.
6. Eliminate distractions. Clients expect you to get their work done on time and continuous distractions will cause you to miss these deadlines. Turn off your phone or your social media. Closed down your email app. Do whatever it takes so that you can focus 100% on the task at hand.
7. Invest your time with people: It’s easy to get so into our work that we neglect relationships and getting out of the house, but you need to invest your time with other people. Freelancing can be very lonely at times and it’s awesome to connect with others who are on the same journey as you are.
That’s the biggest reason I launched Freelance.Camp — to build relationships with people who care. Besides, life is really short and no one is really going to care about your projects after you are gone. So enjoy life and live now.
Make some changes today!
Do not procrastinate on making changes that will benefit your career and longevity as a freelancer. Take one of these rules today and implement it. Go take a walk, turn off your email, or tidy up your workspace. Just do something. And then let me know if these changes improve your life.